[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-10-1970 by L.L. No. 9-1970 (Ch. 52 of the 1989 Code)]
The Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh recognizes that there are state statutory provisions authorizing cities to establish rules and standards of ethical conduct for public officers and employees which, if observed, can enhance public confidence in local government. In the light of a tendency today on the part of some people to downgrade our local governments and to discredit our public servants and our free institutions generally, it appears necessary that every effort be made to ensure the highest caliber of public administration of this City as part of our state's important system of local government. It is the purpose of this chapter to implement this objective through the establishment of standards of conduct, to provide for punishment of violation of such standards and to create a Board of Ethics to render advisory opinions to the City's officers and employees as provided herein.
The standards, prohibited acts and procedures established herein are in addition to any prohibited acts, conflicts of interest provisions or procedures prescribed by statute of the State of New York and also in addition to common law rules and judicial decisions relation to the conduct of City officers to the extent that the same are more severe in their application than this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any board, commission, district, council or other agency, department or unit of the government of the City of Plattsburgh.
- CITY EMPLOYEE
- Any officer or employee of the City of Plattsburgh, whether paid or unpaid and whether serving in a full-time, part-time or advisory capacity.
No City employee shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.
No City employee shall accept other employment which will impair his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.
No City employee shall accept employment or engage in any business or professional activity which will require him to disclose confidential information which he has gained by reason of his official position or authority.
No City employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or others.
No City employee shall engage in any transaction as representative or agent of the City with any business entity in which he has a direct or indirect financial interest that might reasonably tend to conflict with the proper discharge of his official duties.
A City employee shall not by his conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence his or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties or that he is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.
Each City employee shall abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which he has reason to believe may be directly involved in decisions to be made by him or which will otherwise create substantial conflict between his duty in the public interest and his private interest.
Each City employee shall endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which will not raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust.
No City employee employed on a full-time basis, nor any firm or association of which such employee is a member, nor corporation, a substantial portion of the stock of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such employee, shall sell goods or services to any person, firm, corporation or association which is licensed or whose rates are fixed by the City in which such employee serves or is employed.
Each City employee shall, to the extent that he is cognizant thereof, disclose any interest he may have in legislation before the City Board.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any such City employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this chapter may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment in the manner provided by law.
[Adopted 12-17-1970 by L.L. No. 10-1970 (Ch. 53 of the 1989 Code)]
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
There is hereby authorization to establish a Board of Ethics consisting of three members, to be appointed by the City Council and Mayor, all of whom reside in the City of Plattsburgh and who shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the City Council and Mayor of the City of Plattsburgh. A majority of such members shall be persons other than City employees, but the Board shall include at least one member who is an elected or appointed City employee of the City of Plattsburgh.
The Board of Ethics established hereunder shall render advisory opinions to City employees on written request and upon request of the Common Council shall make recommendations to such Common Council as to any amendments of this chapter. The opinions of the Board of Ethics shall be advisory and confidential and in no event shall the identity of the City employee be disclosed except to authorized persons and agencies. Such opinions shall be on the advice of counsel employed by the Board of Ethics or, if none, of the City Attorney.
Such Board of Ethics, upon its formation, shall promulgate its own rules and regulations as to its form and procedures and shall maintain appropriate records of its opinions and proceedings.